Effective Email Ad Formats

If you’re looking for tips on the best email ad formats, Passendo looks at the different types of email advertising and how to use them effectively.
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Email is among the best channels to maximise sales. Savvy marketers always seek new ways to build relationships and grow revenue through email. You can nurture your email subscribers with weekly newsletters or optimise sales and marketing funnels with dedicated stand-alone emails or email digests. This guide highlights the various types of email ad formats and how to optimise your email campaigns to improve conversion rates.

Types of Email Ad Formats & Placements

One outstanding advantage of email ads is that they appear more like the original content. When optimised correctly, email ads appear as part of your standard newsletter. Each ad or sponsorship features a personal recommendation from the email newsletter itself. This native approach to advertising allows you to leverage the trustworthiness of your newsletter’s writer or publisher to boost sales.

The two main types of newsletter ad format are native email placements and dedicated sends. You need to prepare the headline, body copy, image, and CTA for each sponsorship. But, some larger newsletters will write the ad copy for you based on your specific guidelines and goals.

1: Native Email Ads Format

Typically, native email ads are included in regular newsletter content through using a native plugin. They are often designed to match the style of your newsletter, with shorter newsletters having just one available ad placement. However, longer newsletters can feature three or more ad placements per newsletter. 

Generally, there are three common types of native email ad placements. While there may be different naming conventions, the placement positions often remain consistent:

Hero or Header Sponsorship

This placement is done right at the top of the newsletter, making it get the most attention from subscribers. It creates plenty of space to showcase your brand using a large image, body copy, logo, headline, and CTA.

Primary or Mid Sponsorship

This is often the most popular placement, thanks to its native appearance. It’s a perfect spot if you want space to describe your product or service more vividly.

Snippet or Footer Sponsorship

A footer or snippet is simply a snappy sentence or two towards the end of the newsletter. Most snippets are often written in a click-bait style to compete robustly for the audience’s attention.

Note that images don’t necessarily boost ad performance – it all depends on the newsletter. With native ad formats, the higher the placement, the more the clicks and the more expensive the ads. Additionally, banner ads often get the lowest number of clicks.

2: Dedicated Emails Ad Format

Dedicated sends, sometimes known as e-blasts, typically get the best ROI. It’s basically because all of the content in the send is dedicated to your business and sent to your publisher’s list. Dedicated email ad formats work so well for many advertisers that their email newsletter strategy comprises almost entirely of dedicated sends.

How to Optimise Your Email Marketing Campaign

Email is among the most effective tactics marketers use to achieve their lead nurturing priorities. It provides a means to get directly in front of your audiences’ faces without being too intrusive, which makes perfect sense.

The problem comes when your emails eventually end up in a sea of messages all vying for your recipients’ attention. Luckily, you can do a few things to optimise your email marketing campaign and increase conversion rates for a more cost effective ad spend.

Personalise Your Messages

The internet is cluttered with countless faceless corporations, making personalisation more important than ever. Best practices for email personalisation should extend beyond simply addressing your recipients by name. Instead, use AI-based email optimisation tools that delve into your data and analytics to tell you things about your customers’ previous interactions with your brand. Just make sure to follow email privacy rules and regulations when leveraging personal data.

These insights can help you to segment your email list into similar groups, for example, based on browsing and purchase history. If a user has been looking at a certain product more than others, consider including them in an email to highlight that specific product offer. You may even offer a time-sensitive discount for that item to improve the likelihood of a conversion. In this way, adding a personal touch can increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

Use Strong CTAs to Optimise Your Email Marketing Click Rates

Your call-to-action (CTA) is what tells your audience what to do next. For example, if you want users to connect with you on social media channels, tell them precisely that in your CTA. You may also use your CTA to prompt users to download an eBook, schedule a phone call, begin a free trial, and much more.

In the end, your users need the right incentives to take your desired action. Once a user has opened your email newsletter, you’ll need a solid and precise call to action to generate leads and potential sales. A CTA can either be a button or link that directs your visitors to a page of your choice. Ensure that the CTA button is vibrant and stands out in the email by using bright colours and correct positioning.

Keep an Updated Email List

Regardless of the email ad format you choose, you can’t probably please everyone! Even with personal and engaging email campaigns, people’s interest usually changes with time or circumstances. It’s important to periodically remove inactive customer emails that don’t interact with your email newsletters.

But at the same time, there are still ways to reduce unsubscribe rates. Before you strike off those email addresses, it’s vital to reach out to the inactive subscribers with a message that says, “We miss you” or “Where have you been?” Afterwards, you can follow up with an incentive such as free shipping or a promotional discount to win them back over. It’s a creative way to make the customer feel valued and can help reignite your relationship with them.


Email marketing may seem complicated without a strategic plan of execution and a comprehensive list of features to include. The primary goal of your email marketing campaign should be to build a trust relationship with your customers. Each email you send out to your customers should be personal, relatable, and intimately connected with them. Always step into your customers’ shoes and look at the email header, body content, image, and CTA to see if you would open it yourself.

If you need marketing support on your next email marketing campaign, Passendo is your trusted partner. We can help you ignite the power of in-email advertising to build new revenue streams or improve existing ones. Please register your details to learn how to monetise your newsletter, optimise your existing newsletter marketing strategies, get professional advice on starting your first email ad campaign, or join our partner network.

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